Tuesday, May 10, 2011


The name of this blog doesn't exactly roll of the tongue. I get that. Hopefully it doesn't keep people from reading about our adventures with Sam. Either way, I felt like it warrants some explanation.

Right about the time I got pregnant with Sam, my husband Alex started learning the guitar. One of the first songs he started working on learning, since the music of Green Day consists of just a few chords, was Good Riddance (Time of Your Life).

Sam was always a kicky baby, earning him the prenatal nickname "Pele," but his activity would typically shoot way up when Alex would play the guitar for us. Doubly so when he would play this little Green Day ditty.

Another turning point, a fork stuck in the road
Time grabs you by the wrist, directs you where to go
So make the best of this test, and don't ask why
It's not a question but a lesson learned in time
It's something unpredictable, but in the end it's right.
I hope you have the time of your life.

It didn't mean much to me at the time, in all honesty. Sam liked this little song by Green Day. It was cute that he liked Daddy's guitar playing, and I thought "Maybe if they are still around we'll take him to see Green Day someday." And that was it. Or so I thought.

Fast forward some months, to a mom scared to death in the NICU. Trying to cope with a diagnosis of Down syndrome in her first born son. "I'm only 29. The quad screen gave us 1:4700 odds. How am I going to tell my family who are so far away? When can we take our sweet boy home already?" One night I was rocking Sam in the hospital recliner, tubes and IV's sticking out of him. Questioning why me? Why us? Why this precious little boy? He was restless. I was more so.

I thought I should sing him a song to soothe him, and probably myself as well. Not having too much familiarity with lullabyes, I jumped to his old favorite Green Day song.

Time grabs you by the wrist, directs you where to go
So make the best of this test and don't ask why
It's not a question but a lesson learned in time
It's something unpredictable but in the end it's right.

I didn't get to the end of the verse before breaking down in tears. How could I have known that Sam's favorite song in utero would reach me in such a way after he was born? How could I have expected that a punk/pop/rock song would speak such amazing wisdom into my life? I was flabbergasted. I still am.

Make the best of this test. Don't ask why.

What a tall order when your week-old child has a diagnosis that you don't really understand. Don't ask why? Are you kidding? I was so intent on knowing why. WHY? WHY? WHY? All I wanted to know was why. Sure they tell you that there is no way to know for sure where the extra chromosome came from. But when you read any websites, even reputable ones, about DS, the answer is always the same. Eggs get screwed up. Sperm don't. My body decided to "drop a bum egg" at the exact time that Alex and I willfully decided we wanted to try for a baby. Re-enter why why why?
Making the best of this test was easier. I had a beautiful baby boy in my arms, after all. When I looked at him, everything else melted away. He was "just a baby." And he would always be my beautiful child. Who couldn't make the best of that?

Not a question. A lesson learned in time.
This couldn't be any more true. As I look back on this now after 5 months, I already know this to be true. Five months has taught me already so many lessons. And the coming months and years will continue to teach me more lessons than I ever thought possible to learn.

Something unpredictable. In the end it's right.
You bet it was unpredictable! We had soft markers on ultrasound, but the quad screen came back with such low odds. I am young. His soft markers resolved themselves. I diligently asked about long-bone length--great every time. (Turns out he's just a tall boy, but his limbs are short in comparison to his torso.) So we had put it out of our minds that Samuel would have DS. But God had other plans. And in the end, it IS right.

It's taken me a long time to get to that place, the one where I know that this is right. Sometimes I stray from this place, and still wonder what the future will hold. I DO believe that God chose us to be the parents of a child with DS for a reason. And I know that Sam was meant to be our son.

I still think about it all the time. I still sing him the song, too. And when I feel overwhelmed by all that is going on in our lives, I think of these lyrics, and find a sense of peace.

So that's the story of this blog's title. I hope it makes more sense now!


  1. So excited to read more of your blog! What a great name!

  2. Love this post. Can't wait to read more. And can't wait for some Sammy pictures, either!